Finding the Truth in Story: Grimm’s Fairy Tales – book review

Finding the Truth in Story: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, volume 1
Tyrel Bramwell
Grail Quest Books, Bangor
333 pages, paperback

“Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians.” This was the claim of the second century apologist, Justin Martyr. Tyrel Bramwell, in his book Finding the Truth in Story: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, takes this idea seriously. He considers 25 of the stories collected by the Grimm brothers in light to the greatest story of all time, finding Christian truth reflected in these folk tales. It makes sense as the Grimm brothers collected their stories at a time when faith in Christ was the norm, and the stories recorded came from earlier generations that were also drenched in the Christian Faith.

Of course the stories, as we know them, have been modified. Bramwell goes back to the original stories. So, for example, there is no fairy godmother in Cinderella and, at least sometimes, the story can be rather bloody. But blood is a central theme in the atonement. The Church is the Bride of Christ, and Scripture often speak of a wedding feast in reference to heaven. Might this truth be behind the weddings and brides in Grimm’s Fairy Tales?

Stories have a way of sticking with you. Why do you think Jesus told so many parables? But, as was the case with Jesus’ parables, those who hear, and even remember, the stories may not always understand the point of the stories. Bramwell gives us a new (old?) way to think of well known and forgotten stories.

I guess you might say that Bramwell thinks Grimm’s Fairy Tales contain truth “rightly said.” We, now, should seek to rightly understand it.

I enjoyed the book. If you have enough imagination, you will enjoy it also.

Blessings in Christ,